Municipality of Orfeas
Source: CETI/ Athena R.C.
© Prefecture of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
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The Municipality of Orfeas has a population of 6,146. The municipality consists of the old communities of Lavara, Amorio, Kyriaki, Mandra, Mavroklissi, Mikro Derio and Protoklissi. In other words, it covers the largest section of the mountainous and wooded area of central Evros, where, according to local tradition, the mythical musician Orpheus lived. The locals are mainly occupied in agriculture and livestock farming.
At the village Protoklissi there are ruins of a structure that possibly dates from the prehistoric age and coincides with the temple of Pluto that was built by Orpheus in honour of his wife, Eurydice. The route to Mikro Derio that winds its way between the trees is fantastic and constitutes one of Greece's few hunting grounds. At Amorio visitors may visit the Monastery of the Transfiguration and the Monastery of St. George. A bronze statue of the Goddess Artemis was discovered in the area and is exhibited in the museum of Kavala. At Mavroklissi visitors may visit the age-old church of St Demetrius (1,600 AD). Traces of an ancient settlement have been found at Amorio. The top soil contains pottery sherds belonging to pottery with a practical purpose and tiles dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Mandra is the oldest village of the municipality. Centuries ago it was a station for the flat vessels that navigated the river Evros and started from Filipoupoli with the purpose of reaching the Aegean Sea.
Lavara took its name from the standard (lavaro) that was raised on May 2nd 1821, the day of the removal of the relics of Aghios Athanassios, by 300 men who trapped the Turkish army at "Kouri" forest and annihilated it. Today, visitors have the opportunity to visit the stone-built church of Aghios Athanassios, the church of St Demetrius and the small church of Zoodochos Pigi.